NAIDOC CEL­E­BRA­TIONS

Sport­ing stars en­gage with stu­dents and en­cour­age and in­spire a new gen­er­a­tion

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - FRONT PAGE - Doug Con­way

KURTLEY Beale has seen how the magic of sport­ing role mod­els can rub off – first as a starry-eyed kid and then as a foot­ball su­per­star him­self.

Which is why he was so de­lighted to re­turn to his old pri­mary school, Shalvey Public School, with fel­low Wal­la­bies great Glen Ella, to pass on some foot­ball tips and help cel­e­brate NAIDOC Week.

“I can re­mem­ber when I was at school here and (for­mer Pen­rith, Ori­gin and Aus­tralian rugby league star) Mark Geyer turned up to present some awards,” he said.

“That type of en­gage­ment al­ways rubs off on kids.

“It’s a very special feel­ing for me to be able to give back, to sup­port and en­cour­age the new gen­er­a­tion and maybe to in­spire a young kid’s dreams,” said Beale, who is re­cu­per­at­ing from a se­ri­ous knee in­jury suf­fered while play­ing for the Waratahs in May.

Beale, whose brother, sis­ters and cousins have all at­tended Shalvey Public School, re­mem­bered it as a “great school, renowned for sport, al­ways want­ing the best for stu­dents, very sup­port­ive and with strict dis­ci­pline”.

One quar­ter of the school’s 325 stu­dents are from Abo­rig­i­nal and Is­lander back­grounds.

Glen Ella said the NAIDOC events were im­por­tant for both in­dige­nous and non­indige­nous kids.

“The non-in­dige­nous kids are some­times more ex­cited be­cause they want to learn about Abo­rig­i­nal cul­ture,” he said.

“When I went to school we learned noth­ing about Abo­rig­i­nal his­tory. It was only af­ter Cap­tain Cook turned up.”

Pic­ture: Justin San­son

Kurtley Beale with Shalvey Public School. stu­dents Jerome Matthews 7, Cay­den Roser, Tamikah Spencer 5, Emeren ren Leafi 10, and Myles Wid­dersW 12. 2.

The Chi­fley Col­lege Mt Druitt Stu­dents team.

Ca­ressa Seng­stock from the Street Univer­sity leads the stu­dents in a tra­di­tional dance and (in­set) the smok­ing cer­e­mony.

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